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Full text of "Rapid Population Growth Consequences And Policy Implications"

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compute nuoiuumuii imgin maice u possible to demonstrate a clearer relationship between population density and industrialization as indicators of incipient pollution on the one side and the amount of investment in preventive and corrective measures necessary to maintain a particular level of environmental quality on the other side.
In any such relationship between population and industrial density and expenditures on pollution abatement, certain underlying factors will be important. The attitudes of people toward waste creation and handling, as well as the habits and standards they follow, will have considerable effect on the quality of the environment. Some individuals and some nations seem to be almost instinctively tidier and neater than others. Pollution prevention and abatement is done largely through private action as a matter of course; waste paper is not thrown carelessly on the ground; food, building materials, and many other things are more completely utilized; police powers in the interests of public health and welfare are more acceptable; and so on. Some cities, status, and countries arc much more inclined to legislate and enforce standards of environmental quality or to provide incentives for private individuals and groups to undertake mitigating activities. The reasons for these differences of attitude and behavior lie deep in the traditions, mores, and perceptions of longer-range social consequences. The structure and emphasis of religious beliefs may even have a bearing on the matter; certainly the sense of aesthetics is relevant. Much of this problem can be summarized by discovering how much awareness a particular group has of the requirements of ecological balance and the consequences of upsetting the balance by permitting an overload of waste residuals to be injected into the system.
Solutions to the problems of natural resource quantities and environmental qualities call for both government and private actions of a high order. In virtually all countries, discovery, development, and conservation of most minerals involve much government support and control; this involvement often provides severe tests of a government's ability to act in the public interest. I Wee live use of agricultural resources requires great efforts in public education, reform of land tenure systems, road-building, dam-building, and often price adjustments. Dealing with the problems of environmental quality, particularly in the cities, places supreme tests on municipal as well as higherid waste and sewage problems are severe, housing conditions very bad, and public health levels low. Densely populated urban slums and poverty-stricken rural villages alike are characterized by physical environments of generally poor quality, although specific conditions vary from one situation to another. In the large cities of less developed countries air pollution and congestion to be incomplete.